The following copy of a building agreement is filed in the loose papers of the Fredericksburg Clerks Office, Fredericksburg, Virginia in the suit
Shirley vs Long (1828)
Articles of agreement made and entered into this _____ day of March eighteen hundred and twenty between Major Churchill Jones of the County of Stafford and Joshua Long of the County of Spotsylvania and both of the State of Virginia.
Whereas by an Act of Assembly passed the fourteenth day of February 1818 leave was granted and authority given to the said Jones to erect a toll bridge across the Rappahannock river from his lands on the northern side thereof to the town of Fredericksburg--
And the said Long hath undertaken to build the said bridge for the said Jones. Now these articles witness that for the consideration herein after mentioned the said Long doth for himself, his heirs &c covenant with the said Jones, his executors &c that he the said Long will and shall within the space of eighteen months from the date of this contract in a good and workmanlike manner, well and substantially erect build and finish the said bridge in the following manner and provide all the materials for the construction thereof.
The bridge shall be constructed after the plan of Braggs patent--which is thus described in the specification annexed to the said patent, vizt, This is formed by a single arch composed of string pieces or girders connected together by horizontal ties or transverse purlins placed alternately over and under said purlins which are also alternately butted together over said purlins with diagonal horizontal braces and perpendicular and diagonal keys with or without abutments."
The floor of the said bridge shall consist of sound substantial pine plank at least three inches thick, the hand rails of poplar and the remainder of the bridge of sound oak split with a saw. The width of the bridge shall be twenty feet.
The said Long is to provide all the materials with the exception of the necessary stone for the abutments &c this the said Jones agrees he will allow the said Long to draw from [page 2] the quarry on his lands but to be worked out by the said Long and the said Long agrees to give satisfactory security for the performance of these covenant.
In consideration whereof the said Jones for himself his heirs &c doth covenant with the said Long his executor &c that he will well and truly pay the said Long eight thousand dollars in manner following to wit $4,919 part thereof so soon as the security above mentioned shall be given by the said Long for the performance of this contract by transferring to the said Long five hundred shares of the stock of the Mechanics Bank of Alexandria standing in the name of the said Jones on the Books of said Bank on which $3419 have been paid which the said Long agrees to accept as a payment of $3419, by delivering to the said Long two negro fellows to wit John and Walker which the said Long agrees to accept as a payment of $900 and 10000 pounds of tobacco which the said Long agrees to receive at six dollars per hundred amounting to $600 and making in the whole the said sum of $4919. And the said Jones covenants that he will pay the balance of the said $8000 in 60 days after the work shall be completely finished.
It is agreed between the parties that the said Bridge shall abut on the Fredericksburg side at the election of the said Long either at the street leading by the house of Mr. Goodwin and the Virginia Bank into Commerce street or at the street leading by the store now occupied by John S. Wellford into the street passing by the Episcopal Church. But if the said Long shall elect to abut the bridge at the former of these places then he further agrees and binds himself to make a road from the abutment [Page 3] on the opposite side which road is to pass up the gully to the corner of the orchard fence and across the road leading to the mill from the house and so on across the field to the main road leading to Falmouth.
It is further understood that the said Long is to procure and he hereby covenants to procure the priviledge to use the said patent in the erection of the bridge and to be answerable for any penalties which may be incurred by the violation of the said patent right.
It is further understood that if more that the sum of $3419 has been paid on account of the said stock then the said Long agrees to accept the overplus so paid as a payment to the extent of the overplus. And for the performance of this agreement and all the covenants and articles therein contained the parties bind themselves to each other in the penal sum of $5000.
In witness whereof the parties have hereunto affixed their hands and seals the day and year first above mentioned.
Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of
John M. Patton
Edward B Selden